my Fourth

decoration

i know the Fourth of July is supposed to be for hanging out, but i’ve been so busy lately that the Fourth was the first day i had to myself in a month, and i turned down a couple invitations to keep it that way knowing i wouldn’t have a chance again for another week or two. sometimes you just have to let your inner introvert shine, kemosabe.

the day started with tea and crafting of festive decorations shown above, followed by a lunch caprese with basil from the garden, and a cherry lemonade Shandy with grenadine. i just want to note that the cherries are my first ever roadside stand purchase that i picked up on the way home from my BIG CHURCH PICNIC GIG WITH THE JAZZ BAND last weekend, both of which were firsts for me, and therefore notable. if you buy non-organic cherries, don’t forget to soak them in water with a splash of vinegar for 30 minutes or so before eating to remove the junk from the surface of the cherry. those dudes are heavily sprayed.

fourth

i also thought the chopping board looked really beautiful and had to take a picture.

let’s talk about the Shandy. if, like me, you’re learning moderation with drinking, Shandies are YOUR BEST FRIEND next to mocktails (<– this links to my “mocktails” Pinterest board, btw). so, what’s a Shandy? my understanding is that they’re of European origin: half lager, half sparkling some-kind-of-citrus-juice. usually sparkling lemonade, but i’ve even heard of banana juice being used in Germany, so you could probably go as crazy as you want – but you knew that already. refreshing and delicious, a Shandy cuts alcohol intake by half and is fun to pimp out – i later added a yellow umbrella to mine. also, a Shandy will mask your cheap ass PBR-MGD-SCHLITZ-LUCKY-ETC-ETC and turn it into something amazing like TA-DA! please note the super cool trendy blue mason pint jar and steel straw, because, after all, i do live in Portland, Oregon. represent.

in the background are jars of incubating homemade wood stain (pennies in vinegar), and homemade garlic scape n herb vinegar, in case you were curious.

the rest of my day was equally as fabulous as the first half: i finally had a chance to get the garden cleaned up, in the sunshine, while live blues bands played all day a block away. i harvested garlic, shallots, and a few volunteer potatoes, planted squashes, and rejoiced to find the cucumbers grew from seed just fine.  volunteer tomatillo, cilantro, and arugula were also greeted.

onions

temperatures were in the low 80s, skies were clear, there was dirt in my hair, and i didn’t get a sunburn, despite lack of sunblock. my post-garden bath the water was so dirty i couldn’t see my feet, and after the sun set i made a fire and skewers while watching neighbors’ fireworks and get my feet dirty all over again.

just now upon reflection while writing this i realize that i chose to spend Independence Day alone, celebrating my own person independence. i can’t say that i did it on purpose, but hey, it’s a good ending for this post, isn’t it?

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